Mindfulness Flow by Candlelight

Relax……..Rejuvenate……..and Reenergize……..

Date: Friday August 30th

Time: 6:30-8:30pm

Investment: $25

As you experience the profound benefits of full yogic breathing, and activate the parasympathetic nervous system of rest and relaxation! Move into and out of gentle, restorative poses in-sync with your breath, and find the depth of healing that each pose provides when held longer, allowing the body ample opportunity to respond and return to wholeness! Also learn and experience very powerful pranayama breathing practices which have been a part of the yoga tradition for millennia!

End the work week and begin the weekend with this most positive and health-promoting practice as we gather together for a rewarding 2 hours, and be a part of the inevitable as we move towards wellness!!!

Divine Prosperity


Date: Saturday August 10

Time: 1pm-3pm

Investment: $25

Abundance is our birth right and is available to everyone at any moment.

Join Cici Escobar for Divine Prosperity, a workshop created for individuals who are ready to shift their money story and manifest the life they desire and deserve.

In this course you will explore:

  • How to shift your energy with money immediately
  • Discover your purpose and monetize your own unique magic
  • Keys to alignment- how to get what you want.
  • Healing your Solar Plexus and establishing strong self worth
  • Learning magical money rituals
  • Language 101- words that create wealth
  • Closing abundance meditation guided by Cici


Kids Yoga with Shannon Allen


Dates: Wednesdays August 21 – September 18

Time: 4:30-5:45 p.m.

Duration: 5 week series

Investment: $40 ($8/class) $10/class drop in


This special Yogi Kids 5 week series will introduce children ages 4-10 to the practice of yoga through imaginative play and structured activities that encourage mind body awareness.

Each week we will focus on a different yoga concept including: kindness, truthfulness, sharing, self love and gratitude.

Each class will include a yoga practice including “sun salutations”, yoga games such as “Yogi Says” and a special craft including making mala necklaces.


Cacao Dream Journey with Winter Jendayi

Date: Friday July 26th, 2019

Time: 6:30-8:30pm

Investment: $20 advance $25 day of

*Advance Registration is appreciated


Cacao Dream & Sound Journey

Open your heart with sacred cacao and journey with the beat of the drum to a place within where stillness is found. In this place there is knowing, and we find surrender allowing ourselves to explore new dimensions, carried by the wings of music and purified by healing plants. In this space we find healing; cultivating trust in our allies as we receive insight and clarity from this realm to bring back with us into our daily lives.

Held in a ceremonial space, this offering combines shamanic journeying, sacred songs, and sound healing. The majority of our journey will be spent lying down as we are guided on a dream journey into other realms.

Cacao, commonly used in and known as chocolate, is a medicinal plant from Central and South America which is traditionally used in ceremonies and assists in opening the heart. Winter uses only medicinal-grade cacao sourced from a women’s collective in Guatemala.

Shamanic journeying uses drum beats as a tool to induce alpha and theta brain waves guiding one into a deep state of relaxation and meditation. In this state, intuition is awakened, allowing access to symbols and memories which offer clarity, soul guidance and connection with inner wisdom.

The Repetition of a Healthy Process 

The development of a balanced life requires the creation of positive & sustainable practices. Making daily routines that feed our higher goals inevitably will generate more stable conditions. Perhaps you have a yoga posture practice as a consistent part of your life- you don’t have to stop there. A yoga practice on your mat has wonderful effects; however, it does have limitations. There is a ceiling on how far you can go physically with the postures, but THE DEPTH IN WHICH YOU CAN EXPERIENCE YOURSELF IN THE POSTURES IS INFINITE.

The quality of your experience can be dramatically improved by having healthy rituals off of your mat. These rituals can range from meditation, reading, writing, other forms of exercise, etc. Just like how you can enhance your life through a practice on the mat, so to you can enhance your mat practice with what you do in life. This is the way to take your practice to the next level.

How does one create consistent healthy practices?

  • IDENTIFY YOUR HIGHEST CALLING that creates goodness in your life and your environment. Aim at the greatest good you can generate. You can’t go towards something if you don’t have an aim.
  • BUILD A SCHEDULE so that your plans are organized. It is very difficult to find consistency when your actions happen at random times.
  • MAKE A FIRM COMMITMENT and go for it! Repeat your process and then sit back and enjoy the benefits of your efforts.

Much love,


The Movement of Kaiut


“Might I ask…would you please share with me what caused you to be in the wheelchair?”  His voice was gentle, but direct, and he was clearly prepared to listen carefully as he squatted by my wheelchair, bringing his eyes to my level.

“I lost all movement and sensation from T-12 down overnight.  They diagnosed me with Multiple Sclerosis.”

“That is wonderful!”  His face had transformed with an incredible smile and he briefly squeezed my hand.  The inquirer was Francisco Kaiut, and he was, and remains, the only person in the world to respond to my disability in this fashion.  My journey in yoga and in a wheelchair was forever changed by that encounter on January 18, 2018.

I was brought to yoga as it seems most of us are:  because it was the right time; because I so desperately needed it, even though I did not understand it; and because loving friends and the Leap Yoga community made sure I had the opportunity and the acceptance to make it work.  I was brought to Kaiut in much the same way.

For me, MS is a disease of exhaustion and pain, and I had to learn to live with it while combatting intense fear, loss of so much that made me myself, self-loathing, loss of my independence, and inadequacy.  Starting to practice yoga after my medical retirement not only demonstrated how very far my physical health had deteriorated, it showed me how the uncritical acceptance of physical limitations had crept into my world.  Yoga offered healing and a path to follow, not back to the life I had before (which is not possible), but an alternate path forward.  The practice of yoga showed me that I had the power to make it happen…if I chose, and “did the work.” 

At the time of that first conversation with Francisco Kaiut, I had made some progress in my weekly chair yoga class, progress I defined as not feeling I was likely to pass out after a five-breath seated spinal twist.  My wonderful and intuitive teacher for that class suggested that I attend the first evening of a four-day Kaiut workshop at Leap to learn about the practice.  I assumed this would be a sort of lecture/demo introduction, so I signed up, and met Francisco when I rolled through the door.

In addition to the above inquiry and extraordinary response, he explained the reason he was so pleased to learn the nature of my disability.  “Just because you can no longer feel a thing does not mean it is not happening,” he explained.  “Everything in you remains connected.  I can show you how to move.”  A lovely gentleman then took charge of me and told me that I would be doing exercises with the class.  I was in no way dressed or prepared for this, but when I demurred, I was informed that if Francisco said I was to work with the class, then that was what was going to happen.  And off he bustled to collect folding chairs, bolsters and a mat and set me up near the door.  (I thought he was just a little scary wrapped around an inner marshmallow, and I later learned that I was correct:  it was Butch!). 

At the end of the evening, I had a second conversation with Francisco.  Again coming down to my level, he asked if I could attend the rest of the workshop, which I told him was not possible, as it was sold out.  He squeezed my hand again gently and told me that there would likely be another opportunity.

“Please come then if you can.  I believe that the things you do to accommodate your paralysis are limiting you more than the disease.  If you allow me, if you return, I know, I know that I can help you.”


At heart, I am a closet etymologist.  “Movement” has so many definitions unifying around the principle of activity, change and progress, e.g.:  the act of changing physical location; activities during a period of time; the moving parts of a mechanism; a change or development; the development of a story; a self-sufficient portion of a longer musical work; a group of people working together to advance a goal or idea.  Movement to a paraplegic is both a dream and an impossibility, pain and hope, and always the first of the three wishes we would make should that genie ever appear.  Movement, I had been reminded, can also take place in the privacy of one’s own thoughts, and that particular movement can have the most lasting consequences.  Francisco had made me think once again about moving, in all of its faceted definitions.

When I learned that another Kaiut workshop was planned for late July of 2018, I did not hesitate.  I had heard Francisco’s voice and promise in my head for months.  The Universe had once again thoughtfully dropped a rock on my head to point me in a direction, and I felt it would behoove me to listen.  I had been given the opportunity to observe one of Molly’s classes, but had not yet participated much.  While daunted by the prospect of four straight days of physical activity, I believed strongly that I had been placed on the path of learning something I did not want to miss.

Francisco explained that part of our survival instinct is to withdraw from pain and that this instant avoidance is a part of all of us.  We were not, he emphasized, going to power through pain like gym devotees on a stair climber; we were going to approach it, touch it, acknowledge it, and learn from it.  He then asked that each participant do the following:  suspend the emotional component of confronting pain; refrain from judging or evaluating pain; recognize pain as the sensation it was; respect the feedback that our bodies were providing; and to open our minds to fresh responses rather than relying on what we “knew.”  We were to do each movement with the body that we brought to the mat that day.  Very simple.  Incredibly difficult.  Months of rehab had emphasized that I was not to do anything that caused or could cause pain (broad base, that!), I was not to work my muscles until they were tired, never stand unsupported by my hands, to limit movement to the necessary and keep it task oriented, and that limitations were my new reality and would keep me safe.    Francisco dismissed that notion from the very first day.

I thought it would break me.  I believed I would injure myself.  I feared I would fail.  Getting to the mat was a challenge.  It took me several minutes to lift and shift my legs into what I hoped resembled Sukhasana, a word and a position that was completely new to me.  The pain when I attempted to fold forward was excruciating.  I flinched away, condemned myself for a failure, and renewed my hatred for the now only semi-functional body I occupied.  Then I found myself laughing.  I simply had to.  I had just violated nearly every tenant of the request that Francisco had made at the beginning of the workshop.  My only failure, I decided was not listening to my body, which could only whisper at best, and whose message was now so very garbled.  I was here to learn, not just poses, or even Kaiut; I was here to learn about me and where I now (metaphorically) stood.  I grabbed the two blocks I had been provided, and cautiously shifted forward.  I had no core strength and my hands could come nowhere near the floor with my legs in front of me, but I was starting where I was.

Every day I went home exhausted.  Every day I deferred any commitment to attend the next day’s program until I took a morning assessment.  Every morning I felt better.  I was thoroughly nonplussed.  By the Sunday morning session, it still took me quite a while to achieve what I called the “Sukhasana Semblance,” but my hands were now on blankets rather than blocks.  This was literally more movement in four days than I had done in any like period in the four years since my diagnosis.  And I could feel the difference.  Feel. The. Difference.  My movements had changed tempo and structure and for the first time in four years, having pressed my movement beyond the confinement of the pain in my right hip, I felt my left hip.  Just a shiver, but I had not imagined it.

I had no idea what to do with the information I was struggling to process.  I knew I wasn’t just learning; I had been given a gift and it was that previously promised movement.  I was changing my physical location and moving parts of the mechanism that was me.  I was experiencing a huge change and development.  I had movement through Kaiut.  Just a taste, just the beginning, but perceptible progress.  


I was going to liken my state when I began yoga to that of a blank slate, but I was not even in that promising a condition.  A blank slate implies that the slate has no preconceptions, that it is sturdy enough to take the words to be written on it, and that acceptance of that writing is without an emotionally biased response.  I was more like the arid soil of a formerly productive plot of ground, focused on the conditions which had previously existed and craving the water and joyous participation in being one’s best self.  What began with the suggestion of a beloved and respected friend blossomed into something amazing, growing from chair yoga to include the magic of Kaiut, varied seminars, different types of yoga, and workshops/retreats.

The best of my Rehab doctors told me that in order to evaluate progress, one should never look to yesterday, but always in larger blocks of time.  The daily state of one’s body is too variable, he said, but if you compare where you are to where you were a month ago, a year ago, then you can better evaluate whether progress has been made.  After two years, I can proudly say that I can point and flex my feet to put on my own socks from the chair.  I can reach more things off of grocery store shelves, a feat that impressed and surprised the clerks at Raley’s.  My ability to rotate my neck and spine keeps me safer in the car and in the chair.  I can, on a good day, stand and fold the laundry as it comes out of the dryer.   My locked and overstressed wrists, which are not designed as weight-bearing joints, are not in constant pain and now rotate rather well.  I can bend and reach my entire body to dry off after a shower.  I have toned muscles I didn’t know I was moving and could not feel.  I am healthier and have more energy and stamina.  And I am so very grateful.

I am poised to embark on a new level of adventure, taking the Kaiut teacher training with Francisco in a few days.  Since my diagnosis six years ago, there is almost nothing (including eating and sleeping) that I have done for eight straight days.  Considering all I have learned, I believe I have chosen the absolute right thing with which to begin…again.


I want to acknowledge my profound gratitude and love for Iwona and Molly, who shared amazing parts of themselves and their knowledge with me.  I want to thank Butch and Stacy for being so very happy for me, always.  I want to thank Cindy and Michéal for being there to help me get there and smile.  And to the Leap Community – you are the reason this works and you have all made the most profound difference in my life.

Thank you for reading my story.



Healthy Bytes

with Ezio Garritano

Hello and welcome back to this segment of the Leap blog. I’m happy to once again have the opportunity to share with you some helpful information from personal experience that I think can add a little more health and well-being to your daily lives!

This time around, I want to provide you with a fairly quick and simple nutrient-dense recipe that not only is very tasty, but as I said, is packed with quite a nutritional punch! This was, and still is, one of my favorites growing up. My stay-at-home mom was quite the cook and was well-versed in simple, healthy home-cooked meals. With that said, what we’ll be looking at is a basic recipe for black beans and rice, a favorite amongst Brazilians (and Italians as well)! I’m providing the instructions for just the beans, and leaving the rice up to you. Keep it healthy though with the choice of brown or other varieties of more nutritional rice.

When you combine any type of bean with rice, the result is an excellent source of a complete protein, providing all of the essential amino acids which the body cannot make and must therefore get from the foods that we eat. Besides that, you are also getting a good portion of fiber, as well as vitamins and minerals!  We can’t go wrong!!!

First off, we need to begin with the best choices for our starting ingredients. If you use either dry beans or canned, I would strongly advise the organic source for both. In the case of the canned ones, check to make sure that the lining of the can is Non BPA, a chemical which we want no part of in our food! So, proceed from here, appropriately preparing either source of black beans. Once ready, using canned beans in this example, we start with 2 cans or 30 oz. of beans. You can double these amounts if you’re cooking for the whole family. Otherwise, you’ll have enough for 2 people with some leftovers. I like to cook enough so that there are leftovers for 2 or 3 more meals, easy enough to just reheat at a later time! In a large enough pot, we sauté at least 3 minced cloves of fresh garlic in olive oil, covering the entire bottom of the pot with the oil. If you love garlic like I do, then be generous and add more! When ready, we add the beans. We’re going to cover the beans with either a good spring water, or you can substitute that with an organic vegetable broth. Either way, the beans themselves are quite flavorful and will make their own tasty sauce using just the water. Bring this to a boil, and then set the heat to a slow simmer, which we will keep going for a good 2 hours. Add salt to taste when starting to simmer, so that it has a good chance of being incorporated into the beans and subsequent rich, creamy sauce. That’s really all that is needed! Stir occasionally and give the beans a taste throughout, checking the salt content. As you come to the end of the cooking time, you will notice that the water/broth has thickened up and taken on the flavor of the beans and the garlic. That’s what we’re after, at which point you’ll know that they are done! I like to keep it simple, but I’ve seen recipes that add vegetables as well. I would suggest this basic approach first, without the addition of veggies, and then next time around decide if you want to experiment and add some of your favorites to the cooking process.

And there you have it, a delicious and nutritious meal! I usually toast a corn tortilla on the burner and then add the rice to it and cover that with the beans. Corn tortilla chips are also a tasty choice, along with a slice or two of avocado and a choice of greens, such as romaine lettuce. I also like to top the rice/bean combo with a little arugula in place of the romaine; quite a power-packed source of nutrients with minimal effort and preparation time.

As you can see, this is a vegetarian version of the Brazilian dish known as feijoada, which has either chunks of pork or beef, or pieces of sausage added to it as a main ingredient; also quite tasty! If you’d like to go that route, go for it, but as always, choose a healthier source for your meat, such as grass fed beef, and so on. There’s plenty of good instruction out there to make that addition with minimal effort. I’ve eaten it that way and enjoyed it as well!

Herb of the day (and some added health tips)!

I’m sure everyone now-a-days has come across some information about the importance of detoxing at least twice a year, particularly during the spring and fall seasons. And though I agree to the relevance of this process, I think it much more critical and beneficial to eat healthy and follow a life-enhancing routine on a day-to-day basis, incorporating nutrient-dense foods and plenty of physical activity, like walking and yoga. By adhering to such a lifestyle, we provide our bodies with the proper nutrients and the movement our bodies need for eliminating toxins and waste more efficiently and continuously. Our bodies, primarily through the work of the liver, detoxify anyway on a daily basis, and depending on what we’re eating, can do it much more effectively! For instance, 3 excellent food sources for liver support are organic dandelion greens, beets and garlic. These supply specific nutrients that have been shown to increase the elimination of toxins and improve overall liver health and function. So why not make use of these healing foods, and get ahead of the health curve! All three can be combined, along with olive oil and apple cider vinegar, to make quite the tasty beet salad. Details on that perhaps in an upcoming blog!

As inhabitants of a planet that has become overwhelmed with thousands of toxic chemicals circulating in our air, water and food, it only makes sense to take a close look at what we can do to keep the body working optimally for as long as possible! And what we choose to eat is the most direct path we can take to do so. I’ve included a link below which contains some practical advice we can all benefit from! And the website itself is a great source of information and herbal products from a company whose decades-long reputation is widely recognized amongst industry professionals.

So until next time, remember that healthy eating leads to healthy living!

Let’s enjoy life!!!


Hi everyone…please accept my personal invitation to experience either the Kaiut Teacher’s Training from July 20th to 27th or our four Day Kaiut Workshop, which will be from August 1st through the 4th ….or both…. with Francisco Kaiut, founder of Kaiut Yoga.


I  recently completed the 14 day Kaiut Teacher’s Training with Francisco in Telluride, Colorado. Don’t let the term “Teacher’s Training” scare you.  This training is for those who might be considering teaching and those of us who were there to learn and explore the poses and get  deeper into our practice…the experience was all I hoped for and more. I learned about my practice and how my body responds to the different poses. I learned to feel and pay attention to what was happening to my body and  not evaluate my poses based on what was taking place on the mats next to me.  While there was plenty of practice time…over 3 hours a day….there was lots of time for lecture and discussion.


And now it’s your chance to experience one or  both of these upcoming events….and you don’t have to buy an airline ticket or find someplace to stay…the founder of Kaiut Yoga will be here…in Folsom….July 20 – 27 for Teacher’s Training and a 4 day Workshop August 1st – 4th.


I encourage you to attend one or both of these upcoming events….you will be so glad you did.



 Papa Yogi.


Tribal Flow with Morgan Fallon

Date: Saturday June 22

Time: 5:30-7pm

Investment: $15

Tribal Flow:

Shake up your yoga practice and explore your creative energy through a combination of tribal dance movements and yoga asana!  Morgan introduces dynamic/ fluid movements as a way to experience flow and containment of energy in the body. This workshop is appropriate for all levels and provides a safe and nurturing space for those with no previous dance experience.

Morgan has studied dance though out much of her life and has been developing and sharing this practice for 4 years. She recently received the opportunity to learn from a world renowned traditional West African dance teacher Youssouf Koumbassa, and is excited to share!